Psoriasis Terminology Woes

When I was first diagnosed with psoriasis, it was a whirlwind. Like any major diagnosis, As you well know, it comes crashing down on you.

A diagnosis also comes with the relief of knowing the reality of what it is. Like most modern humans, I jumped onto the internet and researched the condition until all hours of the morning. Because who needs to sleep anyway?

Psoriasis comes with all new terminology

While I was on this part of my journey, let’s call it the beginning phase. I found that I was hugely overwhelmed by the terminology. They just could not sink into my brain and when reading about certain treatments, it would confuse me so much. It would cause a kind of mental block and then I would have to go look it all up again.

Here are some of the keywords and a very simple description of how I have come to understand them. Please note that these are not actual medical definitions, but ways that helped me understand what they were. It simplified it for me. It allowed me to read something without confusion.

Topical treatments

How many times can a person read the same word incorrectly? Enter brain fog. Many many times let me tell you, I've read tropical every single time. I saw palm trees and a beautiful beach. 

And then reality strikes, no wait, that is not it. Okay so basically topical treatment is the treatment that goes on top of the skin. Including but not limited to ointments, salves, and solutions.


So when your first line of treatment does not work and all the things you tried first (under supervision of your doctor), it will often be suggested that you step it up.

Biologics may be included in this. Biologics interrupt your immune system and thereby blocking immune system attacks.


Just think of the word system, as in your whole system. Systemic drugs are drugs that treat your whole system. Rather than targeting one thing, they have a go at everything.

There are far more detailed descriptions available for this. This for me just reminds me of that.


Corticosteroids is one that always seemed to get me and I was never sure what was what. In my mind, these are the reducers of inflammation and reducers of immune activity.

They have been deeply helpful in combating my symptoms and pain management.


In my mind, the word infusion is a favorite word. Purely because I am a lover of words. An infusion is an alternative to oral medication.

It's administered with a catheter via the veins.

Trying to understand psoriasis better

Always remember to check any medical queries with your doctor. These above descriptions are purely used to make managing my condition easier. They continue to help as I research and read.

Do you struggle with understanding all the great psoriatic terminology? Are there any experience or frustrations you'd like to share?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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